At the beginning of Dicken’s ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ there is a famous quote. ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….’
That occurred to me today but with the depressing realization that this may not yet be the worst but I will only think about today. Last Tuesday my wife was admitted to a very good local hospital with excruciating pain in a swollen knee and fairly advanced dementia.
After four hours of wrestling to get her dressed and the ambulance took her in.
She is calmer now, in much less pain and will probably be discharged to a sub-acute rehab to get some strength and balance back but it is clear that she has taken a step down deeper into dementia.
The Emergency room experience was bad; the ER docs both didn’t have any experience with dementia and how inflammation can exacerbate it so they did not much of anything. After quite a few hours of no substantive care, I told the charge nurse that if her swollen knee wasn’t treated, I was suing the hospital for malpractice.
Voila. An orthopedic surgeon shows and injects her knee. In the morning, the chief of medical services was there at 7 am to see me and there was a parade of docs throughout the day. Her raging craziness is retreating; we’ll see what the residual effects of the inflammation are.
Tt is quite tough on her nurses because she can’t yet get up and attend to herself because of her weakness and lack of balance.
Yesterday she actually screamed at the caregiver I had engaged to stay with her and drove her from the room about 9:30, so I went back and sat with her until she calmed down. Now, while our daughter is with her, I am sitting here making plans how to move things to make her rooms on the first floor but worried how she will react to her things being moved from the rooms she loved.
I had printed a copy of a picture of her for one overt reason, so she could see herself as beautiful, and covertly so that the nurses could see within her the person she used to be.
Nothing is important now but keeping her as close as possible as long as possible.